The first three months of 2019 were special as they marked the beginning of our dream journey in real world. We were back to Nepal, collecting different experiences, knowledge & motivations. Working with local people, finding our team mates and supporters, trying to reach out different like-minded organizations, it’s been a nice practical experience and we suppose more roller coaster rides are on the way as we begin the execution of our pilot project very soon.
As we sum up & look back the activities & achievements of last three months, we would also like to thank everyone who has been a part of our journey directly/indirectly. Through Aankura Nepal, we advocate sustainability issues & environment plus tradition conscious construction among people which has become most crucial issue in the aftermath of Earthquake destruction 2015 & whole rebuilding process. And we do so through construction/reconstruction of iconic public buildings in different communities adapted to respective public usages to inspire people in constructing eco-friendly & earthquake resistant structures in traditional vernacular way.
We were completely focused in our first pilot project, the library plus rest house re-construction at Sankhu and for few more months, it will be our top most priority!
Here are the milestones of our journey phase wise.
SITE VISITS AND COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS
As soon as we were back, the first thing we did was visiting the site for site study & research. The site was small, perfect for our first pilot project and its glory was magnified by the fact that it lies adjacent to a public square kind of area of the locality where different cultural & religious festivals happen at time. We met the president of local management team formed solely for library reconstruction and also tried gaining the inputs & insights of local members towards project. It was thrilling for us to see people’s excitement and enthusiasm towards the project.
Image 1: The site area
Image 2: A local festival happening in front of site
MEETINGS WITH LOCAL MEMBERS FOR DESIGN AND PLANNING
At least two meetings of local members & Aankura team was organized every month. As our experts & designers put forward the designs for proposed site, there were discussions and interactions among the representatives & site neighbors’ that helped us to finalize the design of project including the aspirations & opinions of beneficiaries.
Local members in discussion over designs & process
Local members in discussion over designs & process
DESIGN FINALISATION AND ESTIMATION
Finally after more than a month of hard works & continuous discussions, we finalized the design of library .Keeping into account the cultural vibrancy and public usage demand of site, the structure is designed as a combination of open rest house in ground floor and library in upper. The building will be one and half storied structure with site area of 487 sq. ft. built in local Newari architecture that comprises of brickworks and wood.
Some positive outcomes & impacts would be:
- At least 25 readers benefitting at same time i.e., approximately 750 readers per month, 9125 readers annually.
- Nearly 300 plus youths & locals including school & college students of respective and surrounding localities directly/indirectly benefitted by about 2500 Plus collections of Library.
- A public rest house that can be optimized by local people especially by senior citizens & women for different day to day interactions & activities. This will also serve as a spectator arena for locals during special local feasts & street festivals as they happen in the public square & Dabali in its front.
- Reviving of reading practices among youths & students. More number of academic books & digital audio books will be added in library along with some computers that will benefit all sorts of students including blinds, more importantly those coming from poor & marginalized backgrounds.
AGREEMENT BETWEEN LOCAL MANAGEMENT TEAM AND MUNICIPALITY AND FINAL DECISION TO COMMENCE THE PROJECT
Official Agreement with municipality (Beneficiaries plus Stakeholders) is done for commencing the construction of library ahead. Construction to start within next few weeks. Final approximate estimation of our pilot projected was calculated. It is around seventy eight lakh Nepali rupees.
AANKURA TEAM FORMATION AND REGISTRATION PROCESS
We finally found our soul mates for the Aankura journey! All of them are passionate and committed individuals towards social impacts and we are half way through official registration to call them our board members!
OUR PLANS FOR SECOND QUARTER OF 2019
- Accomplish the construction of library
- Organize few sustainability and traditional architecture related sessions for 9th and 10th grade students in local schools to create momentum for library
- Organize one and half month traditional carpentry training for local youths.
Dear Friends, Supporters & Readers,
Your continuous support & motivation has pushed us hard to keep us committed in our social vision and come this far in this short journey. Once again, a big shout out to you from Aankura Team. If you find yourself fitting in any of our ongoing as well as future projects, Please feel free to contact us. Together we will make a little contribution for communities of Nepal. We long to hear from you!
From Pragya and Team Aankura